Covid France: what health measures in March 2023?

Covid France what health measures in March 2023

COVID IN FRANCE. The Covid-19 epidemic is rising slightly in March 2023, but is circulating at a low level, confirms Public Health France. Several health measures have ended in France, while others are still relevant.

[Mis à jour le 3 mars 2023 à 9h31] The Covid epidemic has not disappeared in France in March 2023: the virological indicators continue to increase slightly, but remain at low levels. Indicators of use of emergency care are stabilizing. New hospitalizations continue to decline, reports Public health France in its bulletin of March 1, 2023. It is therefore more prudent to continue to respect barrier gestures, even if certain health rules have ended in this first quarter of 2023, in particular thesystematic isolation for people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and the completion of a screening test for asymptomatic contact persons.

What is the dominant variant in France in March 2023?

As of March 1, 2023, it is the Omicron BA.5 sub-variant which remains the majority in France, reports Public Health France. But his circulation decreases (55% of sequences during the Flash S06 survey); with a stabilization of the BQ.1.1 sub-lineage (43% for Flash S06 vs 49% for S05). Moreover, recombinant XBB increased to 34% (vs 26% for Flash S05), with 26% from XBB.1.5 (vs 20%).

Which Covid measures ended in 2023?

Faced with the drop in Covid circulation in France, the government has lifted certain health restrictions. Since February 1, 2023:

► End of isolation systematic for people who have tested positive for Covid-19

► End of the realization of a screening test on the second day of notification of contact status for contact persons asymptomatic

► End of Health Insurance “Contact Covid” teleservice, which allowed the identification and care of people sick with Covid-19 and contact cases. A official decree published on Legifrance puts a end to the issuance of derogatory work stoppages to insured persons who are unable to continue working, including remotely, in the event of contamination by covid-19 established by an examination registered in the nomenclature of medical biology procedures in order to limit the spread of the epidemic of Covid. This also implies the suspension of the possibilities of contact tracing by Health Insurance to search for contact cases in the entourage of people positive for Covid-19.

► The use of “SI-DEP” information systemallowing the delivery of the results of the tests carried out by all the laboratories and structures authorized to carry out the diagnosis of Covid-19, will be subject to the prior collection of consent of the persons concerned, to the sharing of their personal data for this purpose. In accordance with the will of the legislator, the “SI-DEP” information system will be kept in operation until June 30, 2023.

What are the Covid measures that persist in 2023?

Up-to-date vaccination against COVID-19, in particular by a booster dose with a bivalent vaccine (against the initial strain and the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2) for eligible first-timers, as well as against influenza viruses

► The wearing a mask recommended in the presence of vulnerable people, in the event of promiscuity in closed spaces such as public transport

► The maintenance of barrier gestures : regular hand washing, ventilation of closed places

► The government can request a negative screening test on boarding towards French territory and for overseas travel. This border test may be required until March 31, 2023 for people over 12 years of age before boarding for French territory in the event of the appearance of a dangerous variant in a country, or in the event of a dangerous variant, it may apply to travelers from overseas territories, or to these regions in the event of a risk of saturation of the local hospital system.

What are the current measures regarding Covid isolation?

Since February 1, 2023, people who test positive for Covid-19 are no longer required to isolate themselves, announced the Ministry of Health in a January 28, 2023 statement. Nonetheless, “as with any illness with an acute respiratory infection, it remains strongly recommended for people who test positive for Covid-19, as well as people who have been exposed to a contagious person and are likely to develop the disease, to respect barrier gesturesof get tested and D’avoid contact with fragile people“, could we read on the press release.

​​​​​​What are the current measures regarding contact cases?

Since February 1, 2023, the realization of a screening test on the second day of notification of contact status for asymptomatic contact persons no longer required. On the other hand, symptomatic people continue to have to be tested.

What are the current measures regarding the wearing of the mask?

Wearing a mask is no longer compulsory anywhere. But given the circulation of several respiratory viruses (Covid-19, bronchitis virus, influenza), adherence to barrier gestures, including wearing a maskis still highly recommended in March 2023. Above all:

  • in closed and crowded places and public transport (metro, train, bus, plane, etc.);
  • in large gatherings, including outdoors, for people who are fragile due to their age or their pathologies;
  • in the presence of elderly, immunocompromised or chronically ill people;
  • for fragile people (elderly or immunocompromised…).
  • in the event of symptoms suggestive of Covid

What are the Covid measures at the hospital in 2023?

With the end of the state of health emergency in France on July 31, 2022, the health pass is no longer required at the entrance to hospitals. Wearing a mask either, in theory, except for hospitals that want it and in all establishments AP-HP (Paris Hospitals). Thus, in 2023:

► Wearing a mask remains compulsory inside buildings for patients leaving their room in hospital, day hospital, consultation also for visitors, companions and patient workers (ex-paramedics).
Wearing a mask remains compulsory for hospital staff in places where patients are. (conventional hospitalization, consultation, day hospital, circulation corridors).
Wearing a mask no longer required in the offices, meeting rooms, communication rooms, rest rooms, as well as in departments and places not open to patients (laboratories, nurseries, etc.)
► Wearing a mask is compulsory, regardless of location, for hospital staff who present with symptoms suggestive of ENT or respiratory infection.

What are the measures for the Covid vaccine recall?

There High Authority for Health (HAS) recommends a second booster dose:

  • For people over 60, for pregnant women, for adults at risk of severe form and those around them: from 6 months after the last booster.
  • For people over 80, residents of nursing homes and USLDs and immunocompromised people: from 3 months after the last reminder or the last infection.

This second booster dose is also open to all French people who wish it. Bivalent vaccines, targeted on the Omicron variant, have been favored for boosters since October 3, 2022.

What are the measures for travel?

Since August 1, 2022, the border health control system has been lifted, in accordance with the law putting an end to the exceptional regimes created to fight against the epidemic linked to covid-19. Travelers don’t have no more formalities to complete before their arrival in France, in mainland France and overseas, and the presentation of the health pass can no longer be required, regardless of the country or zone of origin. Likewise, no more justification of the reason for a trip departing from France, in mainland France and overseas, no certificate of leaving the territory is required by the French authorities to go to another country.

Faced with the epidemic situation in China, the french government has implemented the following measures:

  • All passengers coming from China, by direct flight or with a stopover, and bound for French territory must present, before boarding, the negative PCR or antigen test result less than 48 hours old.
  • Wearing a mask is made compulsory on planes from China.
  • Upon arrival on French territory, random PCR tests can also be performed.

France also recommends that travelers who plan to visit China, especially fragile and immunocompromised people, consider a postponement of their trip, in the absence of an essential reason. It is recommended that travelers who cannot postpone their trip have a complete and up-to-date vaccination schedule and respect the barrier gestures.

KEY DATES 2022-2023

  • March 14, 2022: end of the vaccination pass
  • March 21, 2022: end of isolation for contact cases
  • April 7, 2022: opening of the 4th dose of Covid vaccine to over 60s
  • July 31, 2022: end of the state of health emergency in France (end of the health pass, end of the compulsory mask)
  • August 1, 2022: End of the health pass obligation in places where it could still be required (hospital, EHPAD, etc.)
  • 1st of August 2022: End of the obligation to wear a mask, but it remains recommended in transport in particular / End of the possible use of confinement and the curfew / Dissolution of the Covid-19 Scientific Council replaced by a “Health Risk Monitoring and Anticipation Committee” (COVARS) placed under the Ministers of Health and Research .
  • February 1, 2023: end of mandatory isolation for Covid-positive cases


Covid-19: International travel, Ministry of the Interior.